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Ingrid Bergman – born 100 years ago – a legend beyond the grave

August 29, 2015 - SWEDEN

Ingrid Bergman was the face of this year's Cannes Film Festival in May, an advance tribute to the Swedish actress to mark the centenary of her birth in August. Her name was said with reverence.

One of the themes explored on the anniversary is why the star's image still shrines so bright 33 years after her death. Even the 1950s scandal that soured her relationship with Hollywood and American audiences for much of her 50-movie career hasn't eroded her stature.

The United States eventually forgave her for the scandal, which was triggered by a liaison with Italian director Roberto Rossellini that broke up his marriage and hers and left her vilified as a home wrecker. Britain's Independent newspaper notes that in the aftermath, the US Congress was presented with a bill that, without naming her, targeted Bergman. It aimed to ban actors and actresses "guilty of immorality and lewdness" from the screens of America. Her second Academy Award in 1956 - for Anastasia - signalled an easing of the vilification.

Her most famous role was opposite Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. The Independent notes that Rick's (Bogart's) toast to Lisa (Bergman) in the movie, "Here's looking at you kid!" has passed into popular folklore.

One of two centenary documentaries, Bergman - In Her Own Words, by Swedish director Stig Björkman, was scheduled for its world premiere in Cannes. It will be released in Sweden on Aug 28, the day before her centenary as well as the anniversary of her death, on her 67th birthday, in 1982.

Francesco Patierno's documentary, Bergman and Magnani: The War of the Volcanoes, looks at the turbulent circumstances in which the Swedish star left Hollywood to work with (and eventually marry) Rossellini in Italy.

Bergman's daughter, actress Isabella Rossellini, has organized a show based on the star's autobiography and correspondence with her father. Featuring the star's daughter and Jeremy Irons, it will be performed in the five key cities in Bergman's life: Stockholm, Rome, Paris, London and New York.

Ingrid Bergman centenary: Why the Casablanca star's extraordinary career continues to shine on (Independent 3 Apr 2015)

Ingrid Bergman biography (IMDb)

Date written/update: 2015-04-22